The challenges and opportunities of managing the land and water resources of Africa are intrinsically tied to the development objectives of this continent. The ways in which Africa’s natural resources are managed will determine either the success or the failure of development initiatives from governments, development partners or civil society organizations.
Moreover, Africa has increasingly become an attractive continent for foreign investors who take advantage of its vast natural resource base. At the same time, population growth rates, unsustainable farming practices and related land degradation, greater frequency and intensity of droughts, conflicts, and other natural and anthropic drivers have deeply affected Africa’s natural assets and undermined its resilience to natural and economic shocks.
To overcome these challenges, the Africa Union/NEPAD Agency, in collaboration with the World Bank, African centres of excellence like the Permanent Interstates Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) and other partners have endeavoured to build a Global Alliance for Resilient Landscapes.
This mobilization shall promote the use of a landscape approach to ensure that natural resources are used and managed in an inclusive manner, centered on people’s social, economic and environmental welfare.
The session was also an opportunity to launch:
- the Africa Landscapes Action Plan prepared by Landscapes for People, Food and Nature and the Africa Union NPCA and TerrAfrica
- the Africa Integrated Landscape Management for Drylands Report prepared by the World Bank, TerrAfrica, and the World Resources Institute
Key questions addressed:
- Why don’t single sector approaches work and why do we need an integrated landscape management in Africa’s drylands?
- Why have countries like Ethiopia succeeded in large scale restoration when others have not? What are the ingredients for success?
- Can a global alliance for resilient landscapse help move this agenda forward?